I believe it's the type of transformer, electric/mechanical (inductive) or electronic that operates the lamp and not the dimmer. Depending on the transformer type, the dimmer is selected. With X-10, again I believe, I'm not 100% sure, depending on the type of transformer you can either use a dimmer switch or just the on/off type switch.
If I'm mistaken on any of this I'm sure someone will point it out.
I have one of the "walmart special" halogen floor lamps -- the kind that look like an upside down lampshade pointing at the ceiling. It has a two-level switch (off, low, high).
I use a standard X10 plugin lamp module. It works fine. The problem with Halogens is that they tend to have a short lifetime if they are below a critical temperature. The was I understand it, any material that evaporates from the filament should not plate out on the quartz tube. Presumably, when you turn them off, the filaments will cool faster than the quartz and it will plate back onto the filament. If the quartz isn't hot enough, it plates onto the quartz. So if you run the lamps at a low power level, you lose on lifetime of the bulb.
I haven't noticed any problems with this, and the X10 control works fine with the lamp turned on to either setting.
I connected my floor lamp (150W incandescent bulb) to a LampLinc dimmer, leaving the lamp's built-in dimmer set fully on. It worked fine for a short while (minutes), but then the lamp brightness started fluctuating, down to off and back up to fully on. This behavior could be stopped by turning the lamp off and back on again. However, about 15 mn later, the lamp was dead (which was fixed by replacing the built-in dimmer). Is this expected or one of the exceptions to Larry's "usually there is no problem."
Hi, I have been reading this with interest as I am thinking about installing some small Halogen lamps and was planning on running them on a lamplinc. It sounds like I want to stick with a 120V lamp to avoid a transformer if I want to dim them.
As far as cascading dimmers I would expect this to be an issue if they are solid state or triac driven. Triacs turn off at zero cross of the 60 hz power line and need to be "triggered" back on again each half cycle. I would expect there to be an issue with syncronization of the two triacs in series. If one truns on and the other is not on at the same time there might not be enough of a (minimum) load for for the first triac to remain on. I do not have first hand experience with this but this might be one explanation for what you have experienced.
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